What is Computer Science?
Computer science is a broad scientific topic. It includes the study of how data is processed, the security of networks, organizing databases, artificial intelligence, and the development of websites and applications.
Much like other forms of science, computer science takes an abstract approach to computers and computer programming. It explores how computers work in terms of algorithms and the computations that drive processes that manipulate data with theories.
Data scientists can use the knowledge they’ve gained to program and augment computer systems. After gaining knowledge of these theories, computer scientists use this knowledge for academic purposes (theoretical) or put the principles into practice (practical).
What is Software Engineering?
Software engineering is a marriage of programming and engineering. Officially, it’s the application of engineering principles to software design. In plain language, software engineering is a field in which hardware design and system computation come together. Let’s break down what software engineering really entails.
The physical parts of any computer are computer hardware. Hardware includes the monitor, the central processing unit (CPU), the hard drive, and so on. The hardware will eventually be the home for the software. Software is a collection of digital code that tells the computer hardware what to do. Examples of software include operating systems (like Windows or iOS), programs and apps, and drivers that run in the background.
Software engineers consider both the hardware and software aspects of a computer when creating software systems. This results in a product that functions more efficiently with fewer bugs and problems.
Computer Science vs Software Engineering
Software engineering is the application of engineering principles to computer hardware and software, usually to solve real-world problems. Computer science is the application of the scientific method to computer software. CS is broader and more abstract and is used for theoretical applications than practical ones.
The skills that computer scientists need revolve around abstract principles. Computer science degree program course work is rigorous with subjects like math, physics, and computational programming. Because most of the skills are theory-based, computer science can apply to a broad spectrum of job niches.
While computer science has a general theoretical focus, the two main niches for computer science are practical and theoretical. Practical computer scientists use computer science to solve real-world data problems, typically with data analysis or applied machine learning. Google is able to intuitively search for something because of the practical results of data science.
For software engineering, the required skills are more practical. In an engineering field, there is a greater emphasis on applying knowledge about hardware for software development. You’ll need comprehension in subjects like math, mechanical physics, and basic engineering principles. The coursework is more focused on the design, analysis, and quality assurance of software to solve problems.
Problem-solving is an immensely vital skill for both fields. Whether you are programming or developing software, you need the ability to pinpoint issues and create a strategy to fix it. A lot of troubleshooting is involved for both, so attention to detail is equally essential.